Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holiday's!

I am just writing to say that I hope you've had a Merry Christmas and that you'll have a wonderful New Year!

I am trying to spend time with my family so I won't be blogging until Monday, January 5.

I will still run Thankful Thrusday on New Years Day in case any of you would like to link up!

God bless you all,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thankful Thursday #6

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey



MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

What a perfect day to host a Thankful Thrusday Meme, it's Christ's Birthday! To celebrate, I am going to list 5 things that I'm grateful to God for. If you would like to join in, just copy the button on my sidebar. Post 5 things that you are grateful for, and then come back here to link up with Mr. Linky.

1) I am thankful that Jesus was willing to come down and be born a human. Giving up His status on the thrown to start life here in a lowly manger.

2) I am thankful that Jesus lived a sinless life and said that I can have victory over sin because of what he endured.

3) I am thankful that He chose to follow through on God's will and he died on the cross for my sins.

4) I am glad that Jesus was raised from the dead so that I could have an eternal relationship with Him in heaven!

5) I am thankful that He chose me... and you!

Dear Lord, as I consider the amazing gift of your son this day, I thank you. Words cannot begin to express my heartfelt gratitude for all that you've done for me and my family. Amen.



Monday, December 22, 2008

Passing on the Heritage of CHRISTmas

Merry Christmas! On Friday, I had a friend of mine, Spring, ask me for some advice. She wanted to know what I do to pass on the true meaning of Christmas to my children. That provoked a great deal of thought and I tell you, there's not just one thing that we do.

First, we have never celebrated Santa Claus. We always wanted the focus to be Jesus birth, not the big red jolly fellow. Secondly, instead of reading "twas the night before Christmas", we read the actual biblical account of Jesus' birth from the book of Luke. Then we talk about it, open forum style. That's it. After considering what we do, I thought, "There must be more!" but there's not.

I think that it would be great to do more. I would love to spend more time giving to the needy. It's just not my season for that, maybe when my youngest is a little older I'll add that in.

The truth is, my kids love the idea of receiving gifts and they look forward to that part of Christmas just like all the other kids out there. The idea is that we've planted seeds and each thing we add is like watering it. Now it's God's job to cause it to grow, not ours. After doing all you can do, just leave it in His hands and He will cause it to grow and bear fruit in its right season.

How about you? Do you have any helpful suggestions for my friend, Spring? If you do, please leave it in the comment section so we can all benefit from reading it!

I want to take this time to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Authors Note: The only other post that I will be running this week is the Thankful Thursday Meme. Then, I'll be back on Monday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Twas the Day Before Christmas

To know me is to know that I am into being healthy. I love to eat healthy, exercise, and take my vitamins. I also believe in using non-toxic cleaning products in my house. So, when my Dad forwarded me an email with this healthy twist to "Twas the Night Before Christmas" I knew I had to share it! I love it!

Twas the Day Before Christmas

'Twas the day before Christmas, I sat down to write
About toxins and diet and cardiac fright,
As I put pen to paper I thought to myself
"I wonder what's sitting on Santa's med shelf?"

So rather than writing my letter to you
I e-mailed his wife and asked "How do you do?

I'm Stephen Sinatra, alternative doc
Inquiring 'bout Santa's own internal clock."
I told her I realized he'd lived a long time,
And asked if his secrets to life were like mine.

Did he eat lots of fish from the cold-water sea?
They're healthy and tasty and mercury-free.
If he cares not for fish in their natural way
He can swallow some fish oil just four times a day.
They'll keep his blood flowing and free of hard plaque
'Cause kids want their Santa to keep coming back.

I asked if his energy level was high
To make toys for tots and fly fast through the sky,
She said "yes, 'tis so " but I'm worried a tad
His CoQ10's dropping, is that really bad?"

It is, I replied, for as Santa's engaging,
His tissues and organs will just keep on aging.
He needs to replenish coenzyme Q10
To visit our houses again and again.

She leaned on her keyboard and wrote with a sigh,
"I really love Santa, he's just quite a guy.

But 'tween you and me, I'm concerned 'bout his girth,
He increasingly looks like the shape of the earth."
I told her a secret of some people's diet,
They eat lots of food but they never will fry it.

These folks live in Asia and some live in Greece
They tend to outlive us by quite a fair piece.
So I thought up a diet, I call it the PAMM
It's healthy, it's tasty, it isn't a sham.
If Santa stays with it, he'll soon come to see
His heart will beat longer, and stronger with thee.

Then Mrs. Claus asked me what I'd recommend
To get rid of toxins in Santa, our friend.

These poisons surround us, they live where we do,
We breathe them and drink them without any clue.
I said "Tell your husband to get in a sauna,
He'll sweat out the toxins like nobody's gonna.
Eat garlic and spinach and broccoli galore,
You can easily find them in an organic store."

And finally she asked me about Santa's stress,
"He worries and worries, he's really a mess."

My advice here was simple, the answer sublime,
"Get a dog, a massage, and a good glass of wine."
The mind and the body act really as one,
Each when upset robs the other of fun.

So practice some praying, some mind alteration,
When Christmas is over, go take a vacation.

Mrs. Claus thanked me warmly and wished me good-day,
To Santa I'm certain she had much to say,
And I ask all of you by your health to do right,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Author:

Stephen Sinatra, MD is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology and certified in anti-aging medicine, clinical nutrition, and bioenergetic analysis. At his New England Heart and Longevity Center in Manchester, Conn., Dr. Sinatra integrates conventional medical treatments with complementary nutritional and psychological therapies.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Christmas Poem

I received the following poem via e-mail from a precious sister in the Lord. I wanted to share it with you as I feel particularly sentimental during the Christmas season, and poems are some of my favorite things to read. Unfortunately, I don't know the author of this poem but here it is:

His Name Is at the Top

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I had the nicest Christmas list,
The longest one in town,
Till Daddy looked at it and said,
“You’ll have to cut it down.”
I knew that what he said was true
Beyond the faintest doubt,
But was amazed to hear him say,
“You’ve left your best Friend out.”
And so I scanned my list again, and said,
“Oh, that’s not true.”
But Daddy said, “His name’s not there, that Friend who died for you.”
And then I clearly understood, ‘twas Jesus that he meant;
For Him who should come first of all I hadn’t planned a cent!
I’d made a Christmas birthday list, and left the Savior out!
But, oh, it didn’t take me long to change that list about.
And though I’ve had to drop some names of folks I like a lot,
My Lord must have the most because His name is at the top!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday #5

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey


Blessings to all of you, my friends and family! It's hard to believe but it's time for another Thankful Thursday post.

If you would like to join us this week, here are the rules of the meme: First, copy the Thankful Thursday button onto your post, then list 5 things that you are thankful for today. Finally, come back here and link up below so that others can come and rejoice with you!

Here are the five things that I am thankful for this week.

1) I am thankful for my Mother. She celebrated her birthday over the weekend. She is in very good health and I am so grateful for her amazing spiritual example over the years. She has been my support system, and my biggest cheerleader! She has a servants heart and a passion for health and God that's contagious! I love you Mom! Happy Birthday.

2) I had an opportunity to go to a local coffee shop with my Mom and Sister one morning. We laughed until we cried and we lifted one another up in the Lord! I am so grateful for my family, and that they are believers in Christ.

3) As a follow-up to one of my items from last Thursday, I am again thankful for God's perfect timing. Last week He orchestrated many things in order to send me a special note of encouragement on Monday morning because He knew I was going to be getting a rejection letter (rejecting 2 articles!). The way the encouragement was worded really gave me a peace about my writing. On Friday of last week, the same editor accepted a 3rd article that I had sent them! God knew what was in the works and He cared enough to send me peace through a love letter. He loves you that much, too!

4) I am thankful for my church. After participating in the Bethlehem walk, we were given the chance to follow up with people who filled out a card saying that they accepted Christ into their heart. What a great thing! New Christians need to be encouraged.

5) I am thankful for all of the supportive people that God has surrounded me with. Both in person and in cyber space! You have all been so great and loving and supportive. It has made a huge impact on my life. Thank you!

Father, today I give you the praise and glory for all of these blessings that you have given me. You are the one who gives us every good and perfect gift, and I acknowledge that today! I love you God! Your daughter...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Love - It's Just Greek to Me!

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With the coming of Christ's birth, I am left to ponder the true meaning of Love. God sent His only begotten son knowing that He was going to be cursed and murdered on the cross - even though He lived on earth WITHOUT sinning! He didn't deserve this, and yet He loved us enough to sacrifice His own son for our salvation. The depth of His love is unfathomable to me.

In an attempt to understand God's love in a better way, I decided to look up the Greek words for love.

1) Storge- This means affection. It represents a natural affection that one would feel for a family member. Like the love a parent has for a child.

2) Philia- This means friendship. This is a virtuous kind of love. Representing loyalty.

3) Eros- This is a passionate love. A romantic love with sensual desire and longing. This is the love God intended to be between husband and wife.

4) agape- This means "I love you". But not in a sensual way. This is the love used to describe Jesus love toward the beloved (us). It is a self-sacrificing love. Representing the desire to give love to all, both friend and foe. (Love your neighbor as yourself). This is the word most often used in the New Testament.

I wish the English language had more depth, I really enjoy looking things up in the Greek because the meanings are so much deeper and richer.

I hope that as you enter into this Christmas season, you take the time to ponder God's love for you - and for your neighbor! I hope these definitions will bring more meaning to your love.

To all of you reading this, I give you philia or is that agape? :D

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fun Quiz

Good Morning my friends! I was out visiting blogs the other day and I came across this fun quiz. They only ask you 2 questions but it's pretty accurate. Here are my results. If you want to try it just click on the link below and then come back to share your results!


Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!

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You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"


Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.



How to Get Along with Me

  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

  • * Give me space to be alone.

  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.




What I Like About Being a Bette

  • * being independent and self-reliant

  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • * upholding just causes




What's Hard About Being a Bette

  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • * putting too much pressure on myself

  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right




Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • * are sometimes loners

  • * seize control so they won't be controlled

  • * figure out others' weaknesses

  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings




Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • * are sometimes overprotective

  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid



Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Poem

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Good Friday to all of my friends and family in bloggy land. I have been receiving some lovely Christmas cards over the past week or so. I've noticed a trend toward Christmas poems and wanted to share one with you. There was no author name so I will tell you that it was by a card company called, Walter Drake.

Footprints in the Snow


One white and wintry Christmas Eve
In a village, long ago,
A young child took a journey,
Clutched within her tiny hand
She carried a small tattered heart,
Fashioned from some scraps of cloth,
Wrapped in the charm of childlike art.




A manger scene of wood and straw
Was the child's destination.
Her only Christmas wish,
To join Christ's birthday celebration.
She placed her precious handmade gift
Upon the straw with care,
And before she turned to leave,
Whispered a simple prayer.




The villager's who stood nearby
Recall that night with awe,
Retelling every detail
Of the miracle they saw...
A second set of footprints
Appeared next to the girls own.
They seem to walk right by her side,
To see her safely home.
But there's no mystery in the presence
Of this unseen friend -
For once God's touched your heart,
You'll never walk alone again.




Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday #4

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey



Welcome to Thankful Thursday #4! I am so excited to be able to again give God the glory for all of the good gifts that He has given me.

I am also excited to announce that I have added a Mr. Linky code making it easier than ever to link to the Thankful Thursday Meme.

Rules of the Meme: First, copy the Thankful Thursday button on the sidebar onto your post, next list the five things you are thankful for this week and finally come back and link up with the Mr. Linky tab. That way we can all come and visit your blogs to see what you're thankful for.

Ok, now on to the five things that I am thankful for this week:


1) I am thankful for the opportunity to do the fun little things with my kids this week. First, we made a gingerbread house together. Then we watched a fun Christmas movie (Miracle on 34th street) and just snuggled up on the couch. It was time well spent.

2) I am thankful for God's perfect timing. I received a rejection letter on Monday and my sweet friend, Spring, had felt led (on Saturday) to send me a note of encouragement. The best part was that her e-mail went down (sorry Spring!) and I didn't receive the e-mail until Monday Morning! It was exactly the word I needed to not get discouraged! Isn't God AWESOME!

3) I am thankful that when I feel alone, God is ALWAYS there with me. I had scheduled to go shopping with a friend who had the misfortune of becoming sick. So, I took the Lord with me. He gave me great parking spots and led me to some really fantastic gifts for my family! Love you so much, Father!

4) I am thankful for the friends in my life who encourage me. I have been lazy over the past month and I've stopped exercising. But, thanks to the gentle persistence of my sweet friend, Denise, I got back into the gym this week. Now, I'm terribly sore today (THANKS Denise! LOL!) but I know it will be well worth it. :)

5) I am thankful for my precious friends in bloggy land. You are all so encouraging and that is special to me. As a matter of fact, Peggy, over at Amazing Mazes, Messes and Miracles was so sweet that she gave me the Lemonade Award! Thanks Peggy that was great!



Part of the rules for this award is that you list at least 10 other blogs that are also showing a great Attitude or Gratitude. So, if you link up with my post today, then you are tagged! Because if you are linking up then you are showing your BIG hearts of gratitude!

Be blessed this week!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Tag


Heather over at Things Above has tagged me! This is a Christmas tag and I thought it would be fun to play along.

1) Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? BOTH!

2) Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped of course, but Santa doesn't come to my house! (Bah Humbug!)

3) Colored lights or white? BOTH! We have a traditional tree upstairs with white lights and the fun kids tree with colored lights is downstairs. The best of both worlds.

4) Do you hang mistletoe? No, don't you think we have enough children! LOL!

5) When do you get out your decorations? Usually the first weekend in December.

6) Favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? Turkey

7) Favorite holiday memory as a child? My parents would wait until after I went to bed on Christmas eve to decorate the tree so I would wake up each Christmas day and it was so beautiful! I was always star struck as I came out to behold the lights and beauty of it all. It was dreamy.

8) When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember believing in Santa - probably why we don't do Santa with our kids.

9) Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? yes/no. Not one of our own, but we go to my parents house and exchange gifts there.

10) How do you decorate your trees? The formal tree has balls and ice sickles on it with white lights. The kids tree has colored lights and lots of homemade ornaments!

11) Snow, love it or hate it? LOVE IT!! I dream of a white Christmas.

12) Can you ice skate? Yep, love it!

13) Do you remember your favorite gift? Yes, it was a barbie head that I could put make up on and change her hair style and color. Now, as an adult, my favorite gift was my blue Yukon Excel that my hubby bought and parked out front with a huge red bow! What a gift!

14) What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? To make sure my kids know that this is Christ's birth.

15) Favorite Holiday dessert? Pumpkin Pie with lots of whipped cream! Yummy!

16) Favorite Christmas tradition? I love them all

17) What tops your tree? An angel

18) What's better giving or receiving? Receiving! LOL! just kidding, I love giving.

19) Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night (I even have the opportunity to sing this at church! God is good)

20) Candy Canes, yummy or yucky? If they're chocolate mint, yummy.

21) What do you want for Christmas? A small digital camera for blogging great pics!

22) Do you attend an annual Christmas Party? No, but we have a new years eve party!

23) Do you dress up for Christmas eve? Nope, just put on my PJ's and get everything ready with my hubby.

24) Do you own a Santa Hat? Yes! Several, the kids love them.

25) Who do you normally spend Christmas with? Hubby and kids. Christmas eve is spent with my family and the Saturday after is spent with his family. Lots of love here!

Now I'm supposed to tag 5 other people. I don't like to put that kind of pressure on others so if you're looking for something fun to post about and you're here reading this then, you're tagged! Just let me know if you post your list.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bethlehem Walk



Shalom! This was the greeting that we used and heard over the past 5 days. Several of the area churches joined together to create an authentic looking and feeling City of Bethlehem. Our home church, Salem Baptist, has built the city on their property. Every year, the people in our town come together to volunteer in the Bethlehem Walk.


This was the first year that we decided to join in the fun and volunteer to work in the Bethlehem walk. It has been such a blessing to our family! Being able to dress just as they did in Jesus' time and then to get into character acting and talking like they did made a real impct on our family!






The entire walk takes between 40 minutes to an hour to walk through. It starts off with the Roman guards demanding that you pay taxes! Then, you have a chance to walk through the town and stop at the different shops. Of course, the talk of the town is of the coming Messiah!



Then they try to find a room at the inn (of course, its full). Next you see the baby Jesus. Another scene is Simeon at the temple where Jesus was dedicated. The scenes continue until the death and Resurrection of Jesus! What an amazing opportunity to experience the true meaning of Christmas!


Last night was particularly fun because it SNOWED the entire night! I was working in the stables with my kids. The ambiance of the snow and fire pits just seemed to add to the total experience. We saw a record 2,900 people walk through last night! I think the snow excited everyone. :)



If you don't do anything else this Christmas, find a Bethlehem walk in your area and take your whole family. You won't regret it! You will walk away with a sense of what it may have been like when Jesus was born.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Are You Ready?



This was an exciting week for my youngest daughter. She had the chance to go to her aunts house for a sleepover! Her cousin (who is 1 year older) would be coming too! Oh the excitement. Oh the anticipation! Oh the preparations!

My three year old woke up that morning and got dressed, brushed her own hair and teeth and then disappeared for awhile. Upon returning she announced that she was ready to go.

As I walked past the front hallway, I saw the above picture! She had already packed her backpack (Of course, I had to repack a few things later - that's just between us) and then she placed the backpack, shoes and her blanket literally in front of our front door. This way, she was ready no matter when her aunt showed up to get her. You see, most three year olds cannot tell time.

I saw such an amazing spiritual analogy in this. I thought about the parable of the 10 virgins. 5 of them kept their lamps full of oil and their wicks trimmed while the other 5 became lazy and fell asleep. When the bridegroom came, he only took the 5 who were prepared. Here is what he said:

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

My precious friends, let us be the virgins who are watching and waiting. Just as my three year old didn't understand time enough to know when her aunt was coming to get her, we cannot understand God's time enough to know when He will come. But we can make sure we are always ready!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday #3

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It's time for Thankful Thursday again! I really am enjoying taking the time to really think about the little things that I'm thankful for each week.

If you're new to Thankful Thursdays, just list five things that you are thankful for each Thursday. In a world that has become so negative, it feels great to give thanks to God.

So, here are my five things for this week!

1) I was able to see a bluebird up close with my 6 year old daughter. The sun was just gleaming off of his radiantly blue coloring. What a treat as we just marveled together over the beauty of God's creation. I'm so grateful for that moment.

2) I'm thankful to have the word of God. Whenever I'm feeling scared, or confused, or sad, I know I can open up my Bible and find God speaking to me through his love letters.

3) I'm thankful for my health. I heard about a woman that was very sick this week, she has an extremely rare disease that may take her life. Oh, how I am thankful for my health - and I pray God will heal this woman of her illness.

4) I'm thankful for the love of my children. They constantly shower me with love notes and gifts and hugs and kisses. I treasure them all.

5) I'm thankful for my van. It was in the shop for 2 days this week! With six kids we are home bound when the big van is broken down. I am so grateful to have it back and to be able to drive around wherever and whenever we need to.

Well, that's my list of things that I am so grateful for.

Dear Lord, I lift up these words of praise and thanksgiving to you. I know that every good and perfect gift comes from you, thank you!

If you would like to join us, feel free to paste the Thankful Thursday button onto your post and then give God the glory!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Live, Laugh, Love

We had a chance to live life with laughter over the weekend. My son has a few too many nerf guns and the whole family was having a nerf gun fight.





My son stared it, he shot my hubby wile he was lying in bed. Then the whole family jouned in! They were running, screaming and laughing. There were bullets flying all over!





Do you think this gun is too big? It's a nerf bazooka and it HURTS!! LOL!!







She's just too cute to shoot! Look at that smile! (Notice the Jedi warrier in the background!)








Now This is a smart child, she's hiding under a chair with my very frightened dog. Hope noone finds them. :)


Making memories, that's what this was all about. Let loose today and live, laugh, love.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Seesaw

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My mother shared the coolest analogy with me the other day. She had me think of a seesaw(see above picture), then she explained to me that on one end is our body (the flesh). The other end is where our spirit resides, and if we have asked God into our hearts this is where His spirit also lives. The middle of the seesaw is where our soul stays (Our minds - this is the decision making area).

If you have been a christian for any length of time, you know that there is a real battle going on between our body and our spirit. As a matter of fact, we can see this fact in Galations 5:16-18: "What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law."

We also have actual examples from characters in the Bible. Paul is the one that comes to my mind. In Romans 7:15 we read, "I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate."

Paul doesn't stay in this sad affair, though. He goes on to tell that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we have redemption from sin. Now we have a real choice to make. According to Romans 8:5 "Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants."

The key - learn to walk in the spirit. This is easier said than done. Life is busy and we can get so cought up in everyday life that we don't spend time in the word of God except first thing in the morning (if at all). If we are serious about winning this battle and having our seesaw leaning in the right direction, we also must decide to stay in the word and pray constantly.

Transforming our minds isn't going to be an instantaneous thing. This is something that is going to take time and perseverance. So press on my friends for the end result is well worth it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursdays #2

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Happy Thanksgiving! This will be my tribute to Thanksgiving. I will list 5 things that I am thankful for today. These are the big things since it's a thankful day!!

1) I am thankful today for our country. We are so very blessed to live in America, land of the free, and home of the brave. This is a priviledge.

2) I am thankful for all of the service men and women who have served our country over the years. Because of each of them, this country is what it is. Let's never take that for granted!

3) I am thankful that God sent His only son to die for my sins (and yours too!). What an amazing act of love this was. I cannot even understand it, but I'm thankful.

4) I am thankful for my family. Having a large family is challenging at times, but I love each and every member of my family. I am thankful for all of the joys that you bring into my life.

5) I am thankful for my friends. You are the ones who support me and love me and make me laugh! God never wanted us to be alone, and I'm glad He chose to give me YOU as my friend.

That's my list of the 5 things I'm thanking God for this holiday season! If you'd like to join us today, or in the future, for Thankful Thursdays, just copy the html in my sidebar (under the Thankful Thursday picture) and join in!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving! I'll be back to my regular blogging on Monday! Until then, I'll miss you. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful Journal

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Happy Thanksgiving week to my wonderful readers!

I was visiting Cheryl Barker's blog and she had the best idea! She is suggesting that you create a Thankful Journal and write something in it every night. It doesn't have to be the big things (although that would work, too) but you just think of the little things that happen during the day. For example, I could put how my son took a shower in my bathroom and as he was walking to his room he said, "Go look at the mirror, Mom, I left you a note." When I went into the bathroom, he had been using his finger to draw into the steam the words, "I love my Mom!" little treasures! You get the idea.

Anyhow, I was so intrigued by the idea that I've gone out and bought inexpensive notebooks for my kids to decorate, and then we will all begin to use a daily thankful journal. For more details, please visit her post, HERE.

I will be back for Thankful Thursdays tomorrow, but then I'm taking a break until Monday. Be blessed, and happy journaling!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Balancing Act

Ever feel like you don't have enough time in the day to complete everything? I think this is a struggle for all of us from time to time. In raising my family, I'm finding that there are so many good things to get involved in. There's sports, horseback riding, music lessons, dance lessons, home school co-ops, church work, volunteering, friends and family! Good grief, no wonder so many of us are burned out!

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With six children, I am amazed at the pressure that's out there to let them get involved in all of these different activities. But you know, if my kids each got involved in a separate event, I'd be running at least six times a week! That's just too much time out and about.

There is a fine line that we must walk in today's fast paced society. God wants us to use our talents for His glory, but we need to be acutely aware of His timing. I've been struggling to find that balance lately. But with God's help, and a willing heart, I know I will find that balance.

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guilty As Charged

It was a normal school day at our house. I was sitting at the homeschool table with my school aged children, and my 3 year old was playing by herself. Unannounced to me, she wandered into her big sisters room and got into trouble.

When her sister finally went into her room she came out to report that someone had taken four pieces of her chewing gum. Since all of the other children had been with me, we knew there could only be one person guilty. When she sought out my 3 year old to ask her if she did it, her response was, "NO".

A few minutes later, when my 10 year old went to put on her shoes, she came out hysterically laughing. We asked her what was so funny, and she said, "look, someone put chewed up gum in my shoes!"

Knowing who the guilty party was, we now had the evidence we needed to do some disciplining! She denied it until we showed her the shoes with the gum inside.

Oh how I could relate to this. How many times have I sinned and thought, no one saw me so I don't need to confess to it. However, God sees all things and in due time the evidence usually surfaces to charge us as guilty. Thankfully, we have the blood of Jesus to wash us clean and take our guilt away.

After all of this, there was reconciliation, and I cleaned out the shoes - good as new. LOL!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Object Lesson #3

So tonight we had an unusual dinner. Can you spot what's wrong on the dinner plate? If you said green rice, you'd be right! We were supposed to make something green in our meal. We instructed the kids to just eat dinner as usual and then we would have our object lesson.

They were quite curious about the green rice, I even had one child who couldn't eat it! Then one child finished her supper first. Without much ado, my hubby just handed her a small bag of candy and instructed her to eat it, but not share it.

This didn't go over so well. She was so concerned that she kept trying to share it, but we told her "no". :)

Now the lesson. The green food was supposed to represent being green with envy. We talked at length about the definition of envy. My scholarly son said, "are you talking about coveting, Dad?" He clearly needs things taught to him in the king james version! LOL!

After real examples of envy we moved on to Bible characters who struggled with envy, and the terrible outcomes, of course.

Then the hard part came, to discuss ways to avoid envy. We decided that being content with the things we already have is the best way, but to pray about it when we feel tempted, is another good way.

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

* OK Ladies, I have the name of the book (There are actually 2) Bashed Burritos, Green Eggs...and other indoor/outdoor devotionals you can do with your kids. By, Tim and Cheryl Shoemaker. I'll keep posting these on Friday's but feel free to buy the book and let us know how they work with your families!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

I am so excited to announce that today is the first Thankful Thursday! I've been working through some stress in my own life and the Lord has led me to being thankful, or grateful for the little things. Yes we are all thankful for the big things. But I need to remember to be grateful for even the smallest of things.

Each Thursday, I am going to list 5 things that I am thankful for. I hope that you will decide to join me (just copy the html under my button on the side bar) and list what five things you are thankful for each Thursday.

Here we go, this week I am thankful for:

1) My mother. She has been such an amazing mentor to me over the years. And specifically, this week, she has helped me to be happy in my own skin. I love you Mom!

2) Snow! We love snow, but living in Virginia, we don't see much of it. This week it snowed, just a bit, and it brought back laughter and excitement into our day.

3) My house. I love being in my home. It is modest, yet it meets all of our needs! It is warm and cozy in the winter, and I even have a lovely fire place that we all enjoy.

4) My poodles. I have 2 toy poodles and they are just pleasant dogs. Rex, my white poodle (the other one is black) knows when I'm upset and he'll just stare at me until I pet him and tell him I'm ok. I'm telling you, it's the little things that count!

5) Fall. I just love the change of seasons, autumn being my favorite. I enjoy watching the leaves turning into an array of warm colors. I love watching them fall from the trees, and I really think it's fun to listen to the crunch as I walk through them.

Well, there's my list of things that I am grateful to you for, God! Thank you for all of the pleasures in my life. You've spared no detail in making my life a wonderful life.

If you are thankful today, I encourage you to copy my button (in my sidebar) and tell everyone the five things you are thankful for this week. Then come back here and leave me a comment so I can come and share in your gratefulness. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy in My Own Skin

On Monday I blogged about being a type "B" person and how I wanted advice on how to bring out the the type "A" in me. The funny thing was that I had more type "A"'s leave me a comment than type "B". Thank you for all of the responses. I loved reading each one of them!

I woke up this morning just feeling like this was an impossible task. I am a round peg and I cannot be squeezed into a square slot. I thought how God doesn't make mistakes and how He made some of us to be type "A" and some to be type "B". Then it hit me, the world puts a lot of pressure on us to become type "A" people. The world says we have to be driven to accomplish many things. The world demands we all be the same, fit into the same mold. But that's not how God works!

God created each one of us to be unique and different. Get to know a set of identical twins and you'll see that they even have differences in their personalitites. God does want us to accomplish things and do His will, but we are going to go about getting there in different ways.

I've thrown aside my minute-by-minute schedule (it was so pretty with a rainbow of colors), and I've adapted to a type "B" way of scheduling. I have made a list of all the things that need to be done, and then I sit down and do them. If I get side tracked for a few minutes (like writing this post), not to worry, becasue when I''m done here I'll be back to working on my list.

The irony is that I don't care if I mark off my list (that might make it messy!) I just know when I've completed the first thing than I move on to the next, and so on. Each day I will create a new list and that works well for me. I've also found that a block of time works better for me than an exact time. It's more flexible and as a type "B" I need flexible!

For example, we were finishing up some schooling this morning when we got a phone call (yes we answer the phone during school!) the person on the other end of the phone said, "IT"S SNOWING"!!! Of course, at the mention of snow in November in Virginia, we all ran screaming out the door to take in the wonder of it all! It was short lived and after about 20 minutes, we were all freezing cold and ready to go back in and finish up our work. If I had been on a specific time frame I would have been stressed out, but since I just knew the task that needed to be completed, I could feel no condemnation as I got the chore finished after playing in the snow.

So, if you're one of my "A" friends, stop rolling your eyes! If you're one of my "B" friends, lets celebrate being who we are because God doesn't want us to be what we are not. :)

PS. Think about it, Moses, was clearly a type "B", he was happy tending sheep in the fields and didn't need the leadership role. He even wanted his brother to take charge, although God wanted Moses to lead. So, that said, type "B" people can certainly lead, they just need to be pushed a bit. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bringing out the type A in me

Last week was a very productive week for me. I was able to get away with my hubby and have a time of refreshing with the Lord. During that time I knew that I needed to become more organized. You see, I am a type "B" person.

Here is the difference between type "A" people and type "B" people:

Type A = A temperament marked by excessive competitiveness and ambition, an obsession with accomplishing tasks quickly, little time for self-reflection, and a strong need to control situations.

Type B = A form of behavior associated with people who appear free of hostility and aggression and who lack a compulsion to meet deadlines, are not highly competitive at work or play, and have a lower risk of heart attack.

It is interesting to note that the Type "A" people are often unable to relax and just smell the roses (something I enjoy doing!).

It's not that I want to become something that I am not. I just need to realize that us type "B" girls need some structure and committment if we hope to accomplish all of the things that need to be accomplished.

The funny thing is that I have added lots of color and graphics to my lists (my husband's are just black and white) LOL! I just know that if I'm supposed to look over a goals list several times daily, it had better be pretty! LOL!!

How about you, ladies? If you are a type "B" personality, tell me how you handle staying on task and getting things accomplished.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Object Lesson #2

If you've been following my postings you'll know that my husband has started teaching our kids object lessons on a weekly basis. Last week he used toothpaste to show them how easily harsh words can come out of our mouths, but how it is impossible to take them back. Feel free to read about it HERE if you missed it.

This weeks lesson started with a raw egg. Each child had a piece of paper marked
15
30
45
60
and it kept going until 3 minutes. Then he put the egg in a glass bowl in the microwave. While they watched he turned it on and set it for 3 minutes. Each new time frame would come and they would write what happened. Nothing happened until after 1 min. 30 seconds. Then, all of a sudden, BOOM! The egg exploded. My kids about jumped out of their skin! LOL!!

Now came the lesson. The egg represents our hearts and the microwave is sin in our lives. When we sin, often nothing happens. That usually leads to another sin, and another. We think we're ok, and then suddenly, BOOM! We explode and our hearts become a mess!

Proverbs 14:16 A wise one fears and departs from evil, but the fool rages and is sure.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of Jehovah is a fountain of life to turn aside from the snares of death.

Psalms 34:14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Art of Gratitude

I was visiting my friend's blog this morning over at Streams of Living Water and I just loved her post. She listed five things that she is grateful for today.

I'm trying to make sure that my daily outlook on life is a positive one and a grateful one. If I keep up with thoughts of thankfulness than there isn't any room for negative thoughts, right? At least that's the theory behind it.

Anyhow, God loves a grateful heart, so here's a list of the five things that I am thankful for TODAY:

1) I'm grateful that today I am sitting in a beach house overlooking the ocean. No distractions, just a refreshing time for me and my God. I've so enjoyed His presence this week! (I'm here with my hubby and the kids are with relatives.)

2) I'm grateful that we can learn so much from God's creation. (See yesterday's post on Turtle Tuesdays.)

3) I'm thankful for my loving husband. He accepts me as I am, flaws and all, and just loves me with a Godlike love. I'm thankful that he always supports me and encourages me.

4) I'm thankful for my relatives who stepped in when I was feeling stressed out and they just dropped everything to join forces to watch the kids and many animals in order for my hubby and I to get away and find inner peace again.

5) I'm thankful for my children who are sacrificing having their mom and dad there for a few days because they love us enough to know we need this time away in order to be better parents.

We're at #5 already! I have so much more to list, I was just getting started. Ok, maybe I'll have to make this a routine post. Thankful Thursdays..... I like the sound of it. Hey Edie, could you make me a button for that?

I hope you all are thankful for the many good things around you today! I love you all, my readers and encourager's. My life is so much more rich and full of grace because of each of you.

Psalm 67:5 Let the peoples give thanks to You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turtle Tuesday

Over the past few weeks, I've been spending my Tuesday's over at Bhisgirls place. She does a really fun Turtle Tuesday's post each week. Last week she even had her turtle get involved in the election process - Go McCain!


So, a few weeks ago, after reading her Turtle Tuesday post and then Edie's link I got a phone call that there was a turtle on our driveway. What a coincidence that was. So, being curious as to what God was doing, I decided to take my crew for a walk to play with the turtle. :)


We had fun with the little guy and my animal lover held him. At first he didn't seem to care about all the attention. Then, he seemed to be feeling a bit shy and he retreated into his shell. We pondered all of this and decided that he had a plan, or a mission he was on and we were distrating him. Kind of like our lives in Christ and the world distracting us. We need to learn to shut out the world when we realize it is keeping us from our calling!


Then we just left him alone and stared at him for a few minutes. At some point, he came out of his shell and no matter which direction we turned him in (yes we were antagonizing him) he would turn around and march into the correct direction. He never lost sight of his objective! Oh how we need to be that way in Christ as well.

The final observation was made by my son. He said that clearly turtles are slow to anger. :) Loving Turtle Tuesdays!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friends

Today I want to tell you about a very special friend that I have in my life. Her name is Chatty Kelly (well, that's her bloggy name). Kelly and I have been friends for a very long time (14 or 15 years-Kelly would know!).

When we first met, we were both working in the corporate headquarters of a large retail corporation. We became friends quickly and soon were eating lunch together daily! We also sent IM's to each other constantly and still managed to be excellent at our positions. Then she got promoted to work for the CEO and the IM's stopped. We did continue the lunches. :)

Our friendship changed once again when I had my first baby and stayed home. What a lonely time that was for me! After the birth of my second child, Kelly gave birth to her first and began staying at home.

It was challenging to transition our friendship from corporate to home and we didn't get together all that often. Over the years we've tried to keep in touch, and whenever we're together it's as if no time has passed since our last meeting.

In the Spring of this year Kelly encouraged me to start writing with her (blogging). God was giving me a new calling on my life and He knew I would need my precious friend, Kelly by my side. We went to She Speaks! writers conference together and had a blast!

Now we're both writing and submitting articles and the best part is that we are getting together much more frequently. Kelly is one of my biggest "cheerleaders" when it comes to writing and I am so grateful for her.

I want to toot her horn a bit and say that her first published article is in the November issue of the P31 magazine (If you don't have a copy, buy one quick!). I am so proud of Kelly for using the talents that God has given her.

Real friends are a gift from God. He has given me many friends and I am thankful for all of them. But today, I want to praise God for my friend, Kelly! She brings joy and encouragement and love into my life. What a treasure.


This picture was taken last week when we decided to have our portraits taken professionally for our future web pages. It's always more fun to do things with a friend!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Humor


Some of you may have noticed that I have a new profile picture. There was even a comment about my new haircut (see picture) so I thought I would tell you all my haircut story.

With six kids and a busy schedule, I have trouble making and keeping hair appointments at the "nicer" hair salons. So, in order to at least keep up with the latest trends, I just go to (ok, get ready to cringe) the hair cuttery when I get a window of opportunity.

On my most recent trip there, I decided to get a hairdo change. I wanted my hair to be on the short side in the back and a little longer in the front. I got the new do and loved it, hubby approved as well which was very important.

When it came time for my first trim of the new do, I went back to the same salon. This time I had a cute little Asian woman who didn't speak much English. I told her to trim it.

She said, "yust a little?"
I said, "yea, please just take off a little"

Then the cutting began and I noticed more than a little falling to the ground! After she was done, she reached for the mirror and said to me, "I took a lot off, more stylish!"

What! More stylish! What was she thinking!

Well, the damage was done so I kindly paid for her services and went home. Surprisingly, my husband loves it! I guess it really was more stylish! LOL!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Object Lesson #1

Raising children can be quite challenging! They go through seasons in their lives and once they are out of the toddler stage it's all about explaining things to them and giving them a moral reason why. This is sometimes easier said than done.

My husband has discovered a book (he won't tell me the title yet) that our pastor referred to him, and in the book are lots of practical object lessons. He has committed to teaching his family a new object lesson each week. I wanted to share the first one with you.

Object lesson #1 starts off with a table covered in newspaper. Then you have the kids sit down and they are each given a brand new tube of toothpaste (from the dollar tree, of course). My husband pulled out a $100 bill and said, "the first person to complete this task can have this $100 bill". This motivates the kids to listen and get ready to win!

The first step is to ask the kids to see who can be the first one to squeeze all of the toothpaste out of the toothpaste tubes. They start screaming and squeezing and laughing! It doesn't take long at all before they have all completed the first task.

The second, and final task, is to see who can be the first one to put all of the toothpaste back into the tubes!!! They really started squeeling and laughing and trying EVERYTHING they could to get that toothpaste back into the tubes. After 20 minutes or so, my husband calls time and no one has succeeded.

Then comes the moral, just like the toothpaste, hurtful words seem to flow freely out of our mouths. Just like the toothpaste, once they come out, you cannot take them back.

Proverbs 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Celebration

I love to write, and in doing so, I believe that I am following a calling that God has placed on my life. The calling is to encourage others in their faith.

We need encouragement in every area of our lives. I wanted to pass on a little encouragement to those of you who write.

I receive a monthly magazine called, Christian Communicator. This is a very good magazine and I highly recommend it. In the October issue, there was an article titled, "Preparing for Submission", by Nancy L. Sanders. After going over some basic tips for your article, she says to SUBMIT IT! While that seems obvious, it's a very scary thing to do.

I have submitted 6 articles now. The first one was a "no", and the next one was a "yes"!! I am still waiting to hear on the other four. I've been doing something wrong, though. I've been waiting until I receive a "yes" to celebrate. In her article, Nancy says that once you've submitted the article to CELEBRATE!

Here's what she says, "After you send the manuscript, rejoice. You answered the call God placed on your heart to write this manuscript from beginning to end. You didn't hide your talent by burying the finished piece in your computer. No, you submitted it! You did the best you knew how to do in this season of life, and that's all God asks of you. Spend time rejoicing with the Lord."

She then suggests to kneel and pray, dance for joy, or shout in victory!

So my sweet writer friends, when you finish the article and submit it, that's the time to celebrate!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Today is election day, 2008! What a privilege to be able to go to the polls without fear of being hurt or killed for our individual beliefs.

I took a break from traditional schooling today to teach my kids about the election process. We do a little reading and then make a hands on craft to put into a "lap book". Hopefully when we're done they will have something to keep and refer back to for years to come. If you don't feel like being creative, I highly recommend buying a pre-made kit from "In The Hands of A Child".

While we were studying, I discovered something that I had overlooked. I've always called our country a Democracy, but that's not true! In fact, it is a Republic Nation. Let me explain:

The founding fathers and framers of the Constitution were completely opposed to our country being a Democracy. Here are the definitions:

Democracy - People do have the right to elect their leaders, but power is given to the government to to grant and remove privileges from the people without their consent.

Republic - A Republic protects the rights of its citizens and elected leaders may not pass laws removing those rights without consent from the people. In a Republic, the government is all about protecting our rights.

Of course, there are more differences but this is it in a nutshell. Our founding fathers held firmly to the belief that people have certain inalienable rights, not privileges, given to them by their Creator. This is why we live in a Republic, not a Democracy!

Ladies, what year did it become legal for women to vote?

The answer is on the comment page! :)

If you haven't done so, GO VOTE!! It's a privilege and right that was brought about through much pain and toil.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just Like You

My kids are so amazing. Each one is unique and different and this is reason to just marvel at God's plan for creation.

The other morning I was drinking my morning glass of milk (actually rice milk) and taking my vitamins when I noticed that my youngest (3yo) Tiffany was standing next to me with her glass of milk. The funny thing was that every time I took another vitamin and placed it into my mouth, she would "pretend" to grab a vitamin and put it into her mouth. So sweet and innocent at this age, they completely want to be like you.

Now another child, an older sibling, was having trouble completing all their schoolwork on a daily basis. This child is struggling with focusing and completing all that is required. I've been praying about how to encourage and motivate this child. I feel that they aren't making best use of their time each day.

It was during one of my times with the Lord that He said, "are you imitating proper time management for your child?" OUCH!! This isn't about me, it's about my child, right?? WRONG!

Have you ever noticed that the word child appears nowhere in the word PARENTING? Instead the word PARENT is stuck in the middle. God was showing me that if there is an issue with a child, look no further than Mom or Dad to find out if they are properly modeling right behaving for them.

I have some serious planning to do this weekend to prepare for Monday morning. I'll be getting up when my alarm clock goes off and I'll be making the best use of my time so that I can "model" proper behavior for my precious child. May they follow suit!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cheerleaders


When I was a young girl I was on the cheerleading squad at my Christian school. It was a fun job and I felt that we were able to help our team by raising their spirit's and cheering them on!

Now, I'm 41 years old and a homeschool mom of six. Lately, I've been having some trouble with discouragement with homeschooling and other areas of my life. How did I get through all of this? The first thing I did was to turn to God, then my husband. You see, my husband is my cheerleader. This combination got me through and now things are looking hopeful again.

I found myself talking to a group of women at our homeschool coop last week and found out that they are also going through seasons of discouragement. They pointed out that they can't confide in some of their friends or family members because they don't understand homeschooling and may not be encouraging. One woman said that if it hadn't been for her husband being her cheerleader, she probably wouldn't be schooling her kids today.

This made sense to me. Cheerleaders are not just for sports games, we all need cheerleaders in our lives. Not the kind with pom pom's (although the candy kind wouldn't hurt!), but the encouraging kind. So, do you have cheerleaders in your life? Who are they? I'd love for you to leave me a comment, letting me know who your cheerleaders are.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cats or Dogs?

We had a very interesting Sunday school class yesterday. The pastor was talking about theology. I've heard of several different types of theology before, like monotheism, atheism, etc., but this one was new.

He said that most Christians either have cat theology or dog theology. This perked up my ears and I was anxious to hear what he had to say.

He started with cat theology. Apparently, when a cat receives lots of love and attention and food, they then think, "I must be god!".

When a dog receives an abundance of love and attention they think, "You must be god."

I own both cats and dogs, and I am here to say that I agree wholeheartedly with these analogies. Here's how it relates to you and I:

Most Christians either believe that if they are getting lots of good things in life and attention, they must be god. Or, they think that because of the love and blessings that they've received, they are devoted to the one true God.

The interesting thing is that most Christians are reportedly cats in their theology. I am guessing they are the ones who are out there in the lime light and that would become a tempting way to believe.

I want to have dog theology. I want to see blessings in my life and instead of viewing myself as important at all, give all of the glory and loyalty back to God!

What's it going to be with you? Cat theology, or Dog theology?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Right Attitude

My last post was called, Do Hard Things. It focused on how we need to persevere during tough times because it's only through the pain that we will see any growth.

What role does our attitude play in all of this? I think it is paramount. We have to train our minds to have the right attitude or we've lost the battle.

If you've spent any time here at my blog, you know I homeschool my six children. This is NOT an easy task and recently I've been stuck in a rut. The Lord showed me that I had begun to allow negative thoughts to creep into my mind and it was sabotaging my joy and peace.

I immediately changed my attitude toward homeschooling and instead of feeling overwhelmed and panicky, I now have a peace about the whole thing again! Phew! I am so thankful for God's prodding and encouragement. His peace is a peace that does forgo our human understanding, but it is so very real!

If you are in the midst of a difficult situation, check your attitude to make sure it lines up with the Word of God!

Luke 11:17 But knowing their thoughts, He said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. And a house divided against a house falls.

This is an interesting verse. I believe that when we allow negative thoughts like, "I can't do this anymore," then we are a house divided and we won't stand for long.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hard Things

Monday afternoon I decided to go to the gym. It has been a long time since I went to the gym and worked out.

I knew that if I went to the gym I'd be sore for the next couple of days, and that would make me extra tired! Being sore and tired also makes me feel irritable and more easily angered.

Knowing all of this, why did I go? Good question! Actually, I decided that I wanted to be healthier, and have more energy.

Isn't it ironic that in order to become healthier and feel better and have a more level attitude I have to make a sacrifice of all of those things for a short period of time!

There's a lot of talk out there about doing hard things - these things are sacrifices and as long as you keep the goal in front of you, you'll be able to persevere.

I have to go back to the gym today, and I don't want to!! I'm so tired and sore that I can't imagine exercising again. Since I have my goal in front of me, I will go and suffer through this workout. Very soon I will start to enjoy my workouts without the pain of being sore and tired. That's when it will all be worth it.

Are you facing hard things in your life today? Is there a goal that you have that is driving you to persevere? I'd love to hear about it. :)

John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Are We Sponges?

I've alwasy heard that kids are sponges, just soaking up all the information that they can. What a true statement!

The question is, are we sponges for God? We are His children and in that place we should be soaking up all of the information that we can about Him and what He wants us to do in our lives.

I believe that we don't really outgrow being sponges. I see us as always soaking up something, be it good or bad.

The concern is, if you've been soaking up the bad stuff of the world. How do you replace it with the good things that come from God?

Think about a dirty sponge, you turn on the clean water and place the sponge under the flow. Does is automatically become clean? NO! You have to squeeze the sponge in order to eliminate the dirty stuff before it can become saturated with the clean water.

That is exactly what God has to do with us. If we have had too much of the world in our lives, He is going to have to squeeze us in order to get rid of the negative and fill us up with His word.

Luke 9:23 And He said to all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Anniversary


Today is my 16th wedding anniversary. This is a picture of us petting a tiger on our way home from one of our many anniversary get aways.

We have had some of the best times over the past 16 years. My husband is a very attentive man and my needs are always met. Don't get me wrong, we do have our share of ups and downs, it's just that he loves me and he is committed to me. (I, too love him and am committed to him.)

God has been the foundation for our marriage from day one. That has been the glue that has kept us bonded in marriage. We've been there for each other through some very tough sicknesses, and broken ankles. We've loved each other through the birth of 5 babies, and the adoption of one daughter.

We've traveled quite a bit over the past 16 years. We love to just get away for 2 nights and be alone. God has graced us with two very loving extended families, who don't seem to mind watching our clan while we go off.

We've been to Russia for 14 days to adopt our precious Valerie. The entire adoption process was a challenge, but well worth it!

We've also been through job changes, and pregnancy scares.

We've walked our children through life for the past 12 years.

We've walked beside one another through tragedy, and even through several moves and church changes.

Now, with our family complete and our lives speeding before our eyes, we must stop and reflect on the past 16 years.

My sweet husband, I love you more today than ever! You are my hero, and my confidant, my lover and my best friend. You are the father of my children, I am so thankful for you! May we continue to be privileged enough to spend the next 50 years together! I can't wait to blog about our grandchildren. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Confidence



My eight year old son came home from church on Sunday and asked me this question:

"Mom, what does it mean to have confidence in Christ?"

WOW, I thought. What a huge question for my young son. I am starting to see words like pastor, evangelist in his future! Anyhow, I had to stop and think about that one. This is something that I "know" that I have, but how do you articulate this?

I answered like this:

"I can trust Christ with my life, even unto death."

This seemed to please him and he flashed me his million dollar smile and gave me a hug.

How would you answer his question? Leave a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SITSta-hood


I have been blogging since March of this year. During that time I have had the chance to grow my readership and I've met some fabulous bloggie friends.

Today I've discovered a new blog called SITS, it stands for The Secret is in the Sauce. It was developed to help bloggers meet one another with kind comments. What a great thing!

Today is especially fun because they are having a blogathon and having giveaways every hour! This is my first day participating and I already want to invite you all to jump over and check them out!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

River of Life



Isaiah 48:18 Oh that you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Have you ever wondered why God talks about our peace being like a river here? If you've ever been to a river, they don't seem peaceful. The water is flowing, moving and there are currents and sounds and life teaming everywhere. So, why then didn't he say that our peace would be like a pond?

Ponds tend to be quiet and still. Sometimes, they can also become stagnant and turn bad. I think that God's point here is that when we are reaping these benefits from Him, we are supposed to share it with others. He never intended for us to be alone and quiet about the things He is doing in our hearts. We are supposed to be like rivers, constantly flowing into and over the lives of those who we touch.

Have a great week, and try to let the river of God's peace and love flow through you into the lives of others.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wall Street

money money money Pictures, Images and Photos

Unless you live in a bubble, you've noticed that things on Wall Street don't seem to be stable. There is an overall panic in our country and it's making things worse!

My husband works in the financial industry and he will be the first to tell you that the reason why our country is in this mess is becasue of GREED. The sad part is that our entire economic system is run on borrowing and lending! This is contradictory to the Word of God which clearly tells us to owe no man anything but love.

So how do you feel about all of this? Are you scared? This is my husbands only source of income, so by the worlds standards we should be scared, but glory to God we aren't. Here is our reason for having peace:

Psalms 20: 6-7 Now I know that Jehovah saves His anointed; He will hear him from His holy Heaven with the saving strengths of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of Jehovah our God.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Come Here

I spent last weekend camping with my daughter and her youth group (For more information see my post titled, Crabtree Falls). While we were away, my husband was home with the other five children. He's a great Dad, so I never even thought twice about leaving him with the kids.

After I got home, I had a chance to talk with him about the weekend. He told me that he had some trouble with one of our kids. Apparently, every time he would ask this child to "come here", they would say, "why?" instead of coming. This became an issue and he got upset with that kid. After having a heart to heart with the child my hubby explained the importance of just obeying without always questioning.


He pointed out that if there had been a poisonous snake next to the child, and they had hesitated to come, they may have been in danger.

He said that he spent some time in prayer and God said to him, "why don't you just do what I ask of you without questioning?" OUCH! Why is parenting always about the parent!

I really appreciated the fact that he shared this with me. I struggle with always wanting God to give me a sign. I am always wanting to make sure that I've heard from God. I think, however, that God would rather have us just do the things we think He has told us to do, and risk making mistakes.

It reminds me of the parable of the talents. The steward who had one talent and didn't do a thing, saying he was afraid, is a disgrace! The others took risks and were a blessing.

May God help us to learn to step out in faith, the first time He calls us!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crabtree Falls



This past weekend I had the opportunity to go on a camping trip. My oldest daughter is in the youth group at our new church and they were going to Crabtree Falls for a 3 day-2 night camping trip. The problem was that they had had close to 20 girls and only 1 female chaperone! The rest were Men and boys so they were fine. I made the decision to go with them and help to chaperone the girls.

It was a wonderful weekend in the mountains of Virginia, but it was cold! I believe the temperature was in the upper 30's the first night and in the lower 40's the second night, bbbrrrr!!

The challenge for me was the day that we decided to climb Crabtree Falls. It was a two hour hike UP the mountain and a one hour hike back down. I happen to be quite out of shape right now and I knew that this was going to challenge me and it did.

I made the decision that I would climb all the way to the top of this mountain, no matter what! Apparently, this is the tallest water fall east of the Mississippi river. The interesting part of the falls was that it was like steps, it came down in different tiers. I took pictures of the different tiers as I climbed up, any excuse to stop and rest.

The bulk of the group flew up the mountain in record time (probably not even looking at the scenery!). There were four of us who were slower and we were called the caboose of the group. I will tell you that I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest and the air was so thin there! I was drenched with sweat and I was dizzy at times, but because I had 3 others with me we encouraged one another and I/we pressed on toward the mark.

Finally, we made it to the top of the falls. I was so proud of myself! I had set a difficult goal and I had obtained it, even though it was difficult, painful, and I wanted to quit.
Here is a picture of my daughter and I at the top of the mountain. Victory is so sweet, when the journey to get it is met with difficulties. As I floated down the mountain, I was on cloud 9! I felt like I had accomplished great things on that day. I felt like I could do anything.

I wonder if this is why God allows us to encounter trials along the way? 1Peter 1:6-7 says: On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while. Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns.

If you are going through a difficult trial right now, be encouraged the victory will be worth it if you don't quit, just press on toward the goal!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Positive Words

What kinds of words do you speak over yourself, or maybe over your family? There is an interesting verse of scripture in the book of Numbers 22-26 it says: The LORD told Moses, "When Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel, they must say: I pray that the LORD will bless and protect you, and that he will show you mercy and kindness. May the LORD be good to you and give you peace." There is a lot of power in the words we speak. We have the ability to speak blessings or curses.

A few years back, the Lord gave me a prayer or blessing to speak over myself every morning. I have now begun to speak this over my children, as well. My husband loves it and suggested that I share it with you. You can use this one, or write one of your own. I simply prayed about it and then tried to use promises from scripture. Here it is:

Today I will praise the Lord with my actions and words.

I will do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.

I will regard others as more important than myself.

I will present my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

I will not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of my mind through God's word.

No corrupt word will proceed out of my mouth, only those words which are good and pleasing.

Everything that I do today, in word or deed, I will do in the name of the Lord, remembering to give thanks in every situation because all of my steps are ordered by the Lord.

I will be anxious for nothing but bring everything to God in prayer and petition, for my God shall supply all of my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.

I will be gentle in spirit because a soft word turns away wrath.

I will be slow to anger and quick to forgive as God forgives us freely.

I will love with a God like love in all circumstances.

Praise be the name of the Lord! Amen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Being Sensitive

Have you ever been involved in a car accident? About three years ago, I was driving my SUV on the narrow country roads where we live, when a full-size pick-up truck with extended side view mirrors was passing me in the other lane. Apparently, there wasn't room enough for the both of us, because we smashed side view mirrors! What a tremendous noise it made, CRASH!!!

Thankfully, I was in the SUV alone. We both stopped and exchanged insurance information, even though neither of us filed a claim. It was a true accident in every sense of the word.

What happened afterwords was strange. For the first month or so, every time a pick-up truck drove past me, I would grit my teeth and close my eyes! Yes, I realize that closing your eyes is not the best thing to do, but it was almost involuntary. I was expecting to hear that load blood curdling CRASH again. After the first month with no more incidents, I was able to keep my eyes open, but I still cringed. At some point, maybe three months or so afterwords, I stopped anticipating another crash and I began to relax on the back roads again.

Recently, I gave up the television for a period of time. I felt the Lord calling me to spend some extra time with Him. After I felt released from this, I began to watch the T.V. again, like I used to, only everything had changed. I began to see the evil in the shows that I used to watch! I was repulsed at what I was seeing!! Even the commercials were shocking to me. Had everything changed in the short period of time that I had abstained from T.V.? NO, I had just become sensitive to the evil on T.V. again. Unfortunately, I had previously been numb to sin.

The Word of God tells us in Philippians 4:8 Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things. I believe that the reason we are told to think on good things is to keep us sensitive to the sins that are around us. If the enemy of our souls can desensitise us to sin, then he has the chance to tempt us. Let's not give him the upper hand!